The Summer of the Puff

Every summer, a certain trend arises. It pairs well with iced coffee, can be spotted at almost every brunch table, and emits an air of breezy, summertime cool.

In a season that dismisses pants, shirt trends are vital for the summer aesthetic, acting as another warm weather pleasure in our dog day repertoire. Last year, the off-the-shoulder top liberated collarbones everywhere, and the year before that, bodysuits put wedgies en vogue.

This year is the summer of the puff: a voluminous statement sleeve that oftentimes has Victorian or peasant-chic accents. It’s breathable, Instagramable, and can serve as a flotation device at pool parties. Brands everywhere have dominated the trend, serving up Anne of Green Gables proportions with a latter-day twist, including LPA, Cecilie Bahnsen, and my personal favorite, Maison Cleo.

Like most trends, this one is recycled a couple times over. After inflating one decade, then exhaling the next, its presence is not few but is far between.

In the 30’s, a decade of apparent nothingness, economic collapse ensued after 10 years of leisure and liberation in the flapper era. Hardship instigated a return to traditional values, where soft, womanly shapes reflected the new mindset. It pushed the pendulum away from the boyish shapes of the 20’s and into the uniform of the feminine mystique in the 30’s.

Jumping forward a half-century, the 80’s welcomed the sleeve as a puffed-up power play, a literal broadening of the shoulders that gained women entry to the corporate boy’s club. In a time of economic prosperity, ostentatious dressing celebrated wealth and consumption. The concept that “bigger is better” was reflected not only in property sizes but in the shoulder spans of women everywhere.

To sum it up, the 30’s puff and 80’s puff shared shape but opposing standards. While one reverted to tradition amongst hardship, the other propelled its adopters forward through economic prosperity.

In 2018, the puff has floated back into relevance for a myriad of reasons.

A Reclaiming of Femininity

puff sleeve fashion

Instead of rejecting stereotypes, why not reclaim them? In the past, shunning feminity was a strategic move, as the notion of being female pigeonholed its captives as passive, gentle, and maternal. Burned bras, shaved heads, and even the broad shoulders of the 80’s separated women from their stereotype. Society was so deep in the bottomless pit of sexism that the term femininity was not owned by women, so naturally, it was disowned. Today, as we navigate through the misogyny that remains, a new approach has been made, a rebranding if you will, of what feminism means to us, the females. It’s this new sense of control that makes the puff so appealing. This soft, delicate accroutement is not an obligatory uniform for the kitchen or the boardroom; it’s whatever we’d like it to be. We can wear it braless at a picnic, with trousers in the office, or while eating a street hot dog drunk at 2am. It’s a freeing and pleasant lol to the past confines of what we, as women, were told to wear.

A Little Contrast

puff sleeve 2018

When looking back on this decade, and specifically the latter part of it, it will be defined as the era of athleisure, minimalism, streetwear, normcore, and many other movements that were either simplistic, sporty, or androgynous. With so many progressive and cohesive trends, it’s a bit of a relief to throw romance, nostalgia, and feminine details into the mix. Season after season of sneakers and sharp lines has made me want to become a human doily, and a human doily I will be.

The Goddard Effect

molly goddard

Courtesy of: @lilybw & @mollygoddard

If you’re familiar with Molly Goddard, you’ve probably fallen in awe of her take on tulle, hyper-voluminous shapes, and exaggerated ruffles. Goddard reenvisioned the princess aesthetic with over-the-top dresses and skirts worn by barefaced models donning flats and facial expressions that don’t suggest they’re in the midst of a tutu. Goddard made the wearing of 8-tiered dresses look effortless and graced this coveted nonchalance upon risk-takers such as Rihanna, Solange, and Agyness Deyn at her 2016 wedding. Unfortunately, pedestrian members of society must fit through doors, so a demand for toned-down (narrower) versions of the Goddard Effect followed suit. Accents of ruffles, tulle, and volume trickled down to the mainstream resulting in the beloved puff. For this Molly, we thank you.

So there you have it, the summer of the puff has bloomed for a variety of reasons. After this season’s romp, it may return in 2038, 2050, or the year 2087. Regardless, I’ll be keeping mine on reserve so I can ring in my 97th birthday in my Maison Cleo puffs.

Why Transparent Bags Happened

Have you seen spring/summer’s top accessory trend? If you haven’t that’s because it’s pretty transparent. Yes, see-through bags are back, and if you’re wondering when they were ever in, it’s a good thing you’re here.

From crocheted satchels to plexiglass with handles, these clear adornments can be found in the hands of both street style stars and produce shoppers alike.

While their presence hasn’t been conspicuous throughout history, they do in fact have a history, it just hasn’t been eloquently discussed in a blog post (hi). So, for a bit of backstory, here is the evolution of the transparent bag.

It wasn’t until the 1940s that bags and purses had established their purpose as an essential accessory. Purse styles and varieties exploded in the 50s, and naturally, certain designs served as status symbols.

In the late 1940s, various New York Fashion houses utilized lucite, a plastic-like substance that was developed mostly for military applications during World War ll. Adapted for jewelry, shoes, and eventually, purses, the seemingly utilitarian material created intricate and embellished geometric designs. In 1950, Miami Beach blossomed as a wealthy American destination, where lucite melded well with its luxurious and endless summer appeal.

Wilardy, a leading accessories retailer that mastered the use of lucite, was actually inspired by the luxury jewelry box. After materials like leather and metals were restricted by the U.S. government during the war, founder Will Hardy turned to the in-demand material for a slew of products. After designing a lucite jewelry box for buyers at Saks Fifth Avenue, they suggested adding a strap to miraculously transform it into the geometric, transparent purse similar to the ones that now hold our iPhones today.

So, why are see-through bags back? Especially when CVS receipts are longer than ever? Let’s dive in:

The Utilitarian Minimalist

transparent bag trend

Courtesy: Yahoo Finance

The minimalist wave has been flowing for about half a decade now and has even cozied up next to maximalist styles. Even when paired with a loud outfit, the see-through purse exceeds all minimalist expectations as it can look like literally nothing. Speaking of minimalism, there’s no greater inspiration for downsizing than having your most-used items on display. Purse trash is not an option here. Accessorizing a used straw wrapper into your #ootd is not chic unless you turn it into a bolo necktie.

Products are Accessories Now

transparent purse

Courtesy: Refinery29

In an Instagram-driven era, branding and packaging are vital. Alongside our OAUI hair oil and Glossier rose water spray is a slew of other trendy products that serve as the new Chanel #5’s. On the subway recently, I spotted an ad featuring a chic, orange matte label, approachable font, and a simplistic brand name called hims. The phallic cactus that appeared on the poster next to it cued an aha-moment where I realized I was staring at an erectile dysfunction elixir that I think I wanted? Basically, in an era of enhanced visuals, branding is key, and if we’re not promoting these products on our feed, the next best place is cozied up next to our phone, keys, and wallets in a transparent CÉLINE tote.

Let’s Not Trivialize Fashion

 

 

Let’s Not Trivialize Fashion

New York Fashion blogger in a skirt

Women often give a damn about fashion.

Among us are vast fields of females who invest time and money into crafting an aesthetic, who love discovering versions of themselves within trends, and many who veer into a sartorial territory that’s entirely their own.

These are women who are sometimes considered vain, narcissistic, and misguided with their priorities.

They give a big whopping damn about fashion. This may be the understatement of the century, but I feel it’s important to reiterate as I’m here to defend the female affinity to the seemingly trivial pursuit of crafting the perfect outfit.

If I were to do an episode of Drunk History, I would get hammered off pineapple cider and discuss the story of Amelia Bloomer, a women’s rights advocate who protested the patriarchy by donning pantaloons in 17th-century America. This was brave not because of their adult diaper aesthetic, but because they were reserved for men who somehow maintained a superiority complex while wearing powdered wigs. Then, I would shotgun cans of rose and regale viewers with the story of Mary Quant, a 60’s designer who legitimized the single girl aesthetic with a line of mini skirts for women ready to claim their sexuality.

Or, I would sip on a bottle of wine through a straw, and tell of a momentous occurrence involving my Nana in which she decided to flash her young adult children and their spouses after they refused to help clean up after dinner. One purposeful nip slip later, and six cleaners magically appeared in the kitchen with sponges in-hand and a lack of color in their faces.

The female appearance has been utilized as a feminist tool for centuries. Throughout a stifled existence, women have been silenced and ogled. We’ve been marginalized but physically glorified. As individuals with visual power and less perceived tangible power, pioneering early feminists discovered wearing their feelings on literal sleeves turned heads, reclaiming their own aesthetic while also getting shit done.

This evolutionary strategy continues to seep into our everyday dressing decisions. Whether we’re torching our bras or opting for a brighter hue, these choices amplify the growing feminine voice. There’s an innate comfort in crafting an aesthetic not just for vanity’s sake, but to be seen and therefore heard, to be understated and ambiguous, or to be identified in any way you damn well choose. Regardless, it’s a level of control the female psyche deserves.

As I expand on this sentiment, I feel the warmth from opposing flames, shouting that we as women should not be defined by our appearances, and a verbal statement should speak volumes over any physical attribute. BUT, I can’t deny that a power blazer makes me want to vomit business jargon while an Orseund Iris top elicits a desire to pet bunnies in a field. My sartorial choices don’t define me, but they do describe me, and I enjoy the assistance of an outfit when it can amplify my personality du jour.

For this reason, I would like to raise a glass of sparkling rosé cider and toast the sartorial savants who find comfort, control, and self-affirmation in their style. I say never lessen your physical appearance to make room for intellectual flair; there’s space for every inch of your authentic self on your uniquely-adorned body.

Invading Fashion Week: Part 2

January 9th: A Flashy Friday

With day one in the books, I awoke the next morning with remnants of adrenaline coupled with the stark realization that I had yet to pick an outfit for the day. I leaped out of bed, turned to my closet, and assessed my garments as animated question marks and outfit equations hung over my head.

I’ve recently nosedived into the peasant dress trend, meaning smocks with bird patterns have entered my life. The first addition to my new collection was a high-neck, turquoise frock with loud yet delicate florals. I decided to wear it with red patent leather booties for contrast and silver sparkle socks for reckless spontaneity.

unnamed

The amalgam turned out to be a beautiful shit show. Peasant-chic meets Zenon meets modern day Wizard of Oz. I felt like a time traveler who accessorized on each stop.

yo

Today’s show was held at Industria, a chic industrial venue in Greenwich Village. The label was Chromat, an avant-guard swimwear label whose previous collection delivered a metallic color story, geometric shapewear, and leather detailing, all courtesy of the architectural-driven mind of Becca McCharen-Tran.

I meandered down Washington Street, trailing a tall gentleman in a maxi fur coat who I assumed was not on his way to Duane Reade.

After following my guiding light and Muppet character to our shared destination, I found a spot in line and passed the time by marveling at a man in a kilt, posing for photographers. Before the little lass in me could squeal in delight, we were being ushered inside.

scott

unnamed (1)

I found a spot behind the last row of seats, essentially the front row of the nosebleed section. When no one showed up to their assigned spot in front of me, I meandered my way under the bleacher-like rows, alarming the ankles of quite a few showgoers, especially one in particular when my head popped up next to her corduroy slacks.

As I fixed myself nonchalantly as if I didn’t just prairie dog my way into the third row, the lights dimmed and the music commenced.

Chromat was a thrill, an electric rainbow of fluorescent leotards, bungee-wrapped midi dresses, and futuristic athleticism. It was mind-altering yet cohesive, not to mention the recurring accessories were bags of Cheetos stuffed into the pockets of vibrant cargo pants, a trend that I was an early adopter of in my formative years.

What truly astounded was a lineup of models that sashayed across various spectrums. In a time where inclusivity can seem trendy rather than vital, it was refreshing to see a slew of bodies reaching almost every marginalized physicality. Any sort of status quo was dismissed with a colorful range of physical and social identities. If an alien were to plummet to earth mid-show, they would be oblivious to any existing standards of beauty, approve of our existence as a species, and then consider investing in a neon monokini.

chromat-plus-size-clothing-nordstrom-fit-symposiumSource: Fashionista.com

The show came to a close, yet the infectious sounds of synth continued, prodding attendees to hang back and mingle. Still reeling from the presentation, I found a comfort corner to sink into while I people watched.

As an outsider who weaseled her way in, the adrenaline of fashion week was invigorating and having these sartorial scenes within arms reach was dizzying. And yet, I could not fend off feelings of vulnerability. Especially post Chromat. At its conclusion, showgoers rose from their seats in unison and formed huddles sealed with impenetrable forcefields made from Vetements jackets. I craved camaraderie as I looked on longingly. I also decided that feeling lonely while wearing sparkle socks makes for a conflicting headspace.

My sadness was interrupted when I stole a glance at an inspiring individual wearing a rainbow fringe jacket. My insecurities were fleeting, as my awe quickly replaced any sense of inhibition. Plus, every time I looked down at my sparkle socks they told me to perk the hell up.

This thought process continued through the remainder of the week. Through the dark athletism of YAJUN and the contemporary sheen of Sally LaPointe, I felt the thrill of sartorial wanderlust and the dread of the inevitable end of the vacation. The disposition of an outsider looking in.

It’s because fashion is a vacation. It transports you from the realities of life to a constructed vision of beauty and self-assurance. For some, it’s a trivial distraction. For others, it’s escapism you can wear. It’s felt when donning a beret, colorful tights, or even a band tee, and it’s all-consuming when thrown into the thralls of fashion week.

To digress, fashion is a treat and I was beyond lucky to indulge in its sweetest form. I learned to always come prepared with small talk, and that sparkle socks will elevate almost any ensemble. I witnessed diversity in its most energized form and snack foods as legitimized accessories. I walked away enthused by its energy, but also extra appreciative of sweatpants and simple pleasures. But mostly, I craved Cheetos.

Invading Fashion Week: A Memoir

Chapter 1: The Inception

unnamed

I’ve attended fashion shows in the past, yet have never fully binged on the 5-course feast known as New York Fashion Week. Last season I flew in from California to see Leanne Marshall’s show wearing a wrinkled blouse and a hangover from the wedding I attended the night before. The designs were both vibrant and whimsical, and I locked down an interview with the designer herself. Regrettably, I had to catch a flight soon after, and the blur stemming from Prosecco-infused brain damage lessened the experience.

After moving back to New York City, I was equipped with access to a steamer and the discipline to throw myself in bed sans inebriation. My wrinkle-free attitude and physical self would return with vengeance.

Before we dive into the thick of it, let me tell you how I weaseled my way in, in case you’ve aspired to witness its glory, or simply want to be an impeccably-dressed wingman for the week’s loneliest attendee.

Aside from tackling hard news on the best site to ever exist, I also write for a fun platform called La Moda Channel and planned to cover some shows for their website. I first started my research on this site called Modem. Here you can find a comprehensive schedule for the week and contact information for each designer’s PR team. After touching up my email sign off with a La Moda logo and a self-appointed Content Contributor title, I slid into the inbox of every public relations intern in the tri-state area.

Soon after, a bevy of invites and many, many more rejections filled my inbox. While I will never forgive Raf Simons for not sending me a popcorn-gram and seat assignment next to Milly Bobby Brown, I was elated to receive the go-ahead from a slew of labels.

February 8th: A Thirsty Thursday

fw4

I woke up Thursday ready for the commencement of my first ever full fashion week and hit the ground running (in a confused, panicked sort of way.) I call it Thirsty Thursday because I was READY, and also parched because I couldn’t fit a water bottle into my handbag that resembled a wicker briefcase for hobbits. After requesting time off at my 9-5, I left work early to catch the Pamella Roland show at Chelsea Piers.

Of course, I arrived painfully early. After checking in as press, I was escorted backstage, and mid-journey got tangled in the moving legs of a herd of models. One of them complimented me on my cute, short stature, and I graciously shouted thank you up from sea level. After clawing my way free, I made it to a spacious room bustling with cameras, stylists, makeup artists, press stations, and Nigel Barker. I was scheduled to interview Pamella post-show, so I found a comfort corner where I could whisper positive affirmations to myself and make meaningful eye contact with Nigel.

yup

15 minutes prior to start time, I made my way to the entrance of the show. Miraculously, I found my seat assignment in the front row and shed a single tear. After experimenting with six different leg positions and pursed-lip facial expressions, a very friendly gentleman took a seat next to me. Congenial small talk ensued until a visitor in a fur coat cut in to greet my new acquaintance. In subdued astonishment, I realized this furry gentleman was Miss Jay from America’s Next Top Model which cued me to partake in their shared laughter with manic giggling. These were my people now.

Side note: It appeared half of the original judging panel from America’s Next Top Model was there. I wondered… did I stumble into the reboot? Was the man next to me actually Tyra preparing to rip a wig off to ask me if I wanted to be on top? I braced myself for the reveal.

My neighbor took his seat again. Turns out, he’s the former fashion director of every fashion publication I’ve ever loved including Harper’s Bazaar and InStyle. He then told me about an exhibit at FIT featuring one of America’s most influential and unrecognized designers, Charles James. With exuberant interest, I told him I would check it out, and then regaled him with the fact that I had been to London once.

Before my conversational prowess could wane any further, the universe threw me a bone and dimmed the lights. The show was about to begin.

pam

Pamella is revered for her opulent numbers that grace the red carpets of the world. Admittedly, it’s not my favorite genre of ready-to-wear, but I was made a believer by the modern shapes of this season’s collection. Structured matching sets, sharp pantsuits, and maxi coats tempered the glitz before megawatt numbers tied the bow of this perfectly-wrapped presentation. When I wasn’t attempting to invert my ankles to avoid tripping the models, I was consumed by the balance in mood and texture as well as the tribute to old and new world glamour.

pamella-1-1024x666

The lights awoke and I bid farewell to my new friend. I weaved my way backstage to a transformed scene buzzing with chatter and flashing Nikons. While nestled in my aforementioned comfort corner, I texted my PR contact asking where and when I would meet with Pamella. She quickly responded, instructing me to meet her in the back corner of the room.

I arrived in a line of fellow press people equipped with camera crews, professional blowouts, and spiffy microphones. After talking my meager iPhone-sporting self out of an Irish exit, I rehearsed my questions and waited patiently.

Finally, I was up. I was last in line and as I greeted Pamella it was clear her post-show adrenaline was fading as she asked if we could take a seat. I graciously accepted and realized my final spot in the queue granted me access to the designer’s toned-down, vulnerable side. Gone was the embarrassment of my lack of proper lighting and Seacrest-style flair. Instead, my casual approach proved to be advantageous as we relaxed into an honest conversation free of looming cameras.

Following the interview, I skipped out of Chelsea Piers brimming with endorphins and plenty of material. Before I could escape to begin writing, I made it my mission to become the subject of a street style snap. After putting on my sunglasses in a Miranda Priesly-like fashion before stepping outside, I paused and waited for the self-affirming clicks of Nikons. When ego-bruising silence ensued, I stalled by looking at my phone and channeled a lost yet en vogue demeanor as I waltzed back and forth in the same general area.

An angelic camera woman eventually approached me and asked for a snap. I confidently exclaimed, “oh, sure!” in a way that was definitely not desperate. With a slight tilt of the head and a strained collarbone pop, I think I nailed it.

street style

fw2

With day one in the books, I scampered on home to write my article in the largest t-shirt I could find. I then nestled all snug in my bed while visions of sugar plums, bejeweled gowns, and Nigel Barker danced in my head.

Most Valuable Players: 2018’s Best Street Style Stars

 

The MVPs of Fashion Week Street Style

em

New York Fashion Week is merely minutes away from its commencement. Soon, the streets will be flooded with swarms of eclectic puffer coats, mismatched patterns, and some type of high-fashion sleeping bag to combat the subzero NYC temperatures (spoiler alert: this will be me).

The swirling colors of Balenciaga, the western sheen of Calvin Klein, and the muted condom-colored tones of Yeezy will invite the flashing lights of the paparazzi, eager to snap photos of the high-profile mannequins who dominate the stratosphere of fashion publicity.

While celebrities naturally receive the most coverage, beyond the flashing lights and hoards of security details are a stylish set of human beings who dress themselves and have managed to climb the ranks to get to their enviable positions today. Considering fashion week is a celebration of the brilliant minds that add creative integrity to the industry, I find it appropriate to redirect the spotlight to the self-made movers and shakers.

Here are just a few to add to your inspirational queue.

Emili Sindlev
Stylist at Eurowoman Magazine

emil

I’ve recently become obsessed with Scandinavian influencers, as their luxe tastes and uncanny layering abilities make them a prototype for sartorial success. Emili Sindlev is the embodiment of Nordic chic gone rogue with her genius pattern pairings, mastery of textures, and affinity to the perfect sock-heel combo.

Jeanette Friis Madsen
Editor at COSTUME Magazine

jeann

Jeanette Friss Madsen also hails from northern Europe and brings with her an elegant romance enlivened with contrasting hues and an enviable trouser collection. After stumbling through her Instagram, I immediately bought four new pairs of vibrant wide-legged slacks and solemnly swore to finally attempt to wear a dress with pants.

Pholoso Selebogo
Stylist & Art Director

yooo

Pholoso Selebongo was recently shot by Danish photographer Søren Jepson on the streets at Copenhagen Fashion Week. Selebongo wore a simple orange quilted coat with a baby pink scarf wrapped delicately around her head. Boasting mastery of color coordination and the maintaining of body warmth, Pholoso conquered the art of cocooning in style.

Darja Barannik
Fashion Editor

darha

Darja Barannik has the coveted ability to streamline an outfit, aka create a consistency in style, color, texture, etc, and then add a curveball aesthetic to tie it all together. Typically her sartorial plot twist is a crazy shoe that adds extra personality to a monochromatic ensemble. It’s an approach we should all take in life. Barannik embodies a structured 9-5 schedule with a hint of spontaneity. She’s like Eileen from accounting who gets wasted at company events, yet lives to tell the tale at 9am the next morning. Moral of the story is we should all be like Darja and Eileen.

Interested in more out-of-the-box styling tips? Click here for inspiration courtesy of Men’s Fashion Week.

The Art of Cocooning in a Stylish World

The Art of Cocooning in a Stylish World

4e37f686c1cb5af956d728347dabb4a6

One of the most wonderful trends to ever hit the mass market is the practice of cocooning. Sounds like a fairytale but the art of becoming the filling in a blanket burrito is something that marketing professionals adapt to when targeting and positioning brands. It may seem rudimentary but researchers have been studying the state of hibernation for years. Pioneering trend forecaster, Faith Popcorn, kickstarted her career after conceiving the trend and then predicting its evolution through the coming decades.

We could call it self-preservation, but we could also admit that cuddling is exponentially better than small talk and that the purest form of excitement is accepting a delivery order (unless they forget the dipping sauce, that’s called trauma.)

Despite how we perceive its inevitability, cocooning is ever-lasting and constantly evolving in tandem with tech, cultural norms, and shifting politics.

In the past few years, cocooning has attracted synonymous phrases such as hygge, self-care, and the act of Netflixing prior to chilling. These buzz-worthy terms have been slapped onto endless content, coverage, and how-tos on perfecting the art of embracing comfort.

As the obsession increases, the only place we have yet to apply protective cashmere padding is out the door and into the streets.

So, if you’re looking for both sartorial approval and those warm and fuzzy feels, here are some options.

Blanket, Scarf, Tomayto, Tomahto

scarfOne could say a scarf is a skinny strip of material meant to be worn solely around the neck. One could also say life is a spectrum and that your couch’s accessory could also be your own. I’m a progressive, so I lean towards the latter. If you fear you’ll end up channeling a Rugrats character, fear not because there are many ways to wear your blankey in a sartorially-approved manner. First off, add a belt to the mix to introduce a silhouette to your shroud. Or, let it be the pop of color to a neutral/monotone outfit. Plus, when faced with harrowing social interactions, feel free to swaddle yourself on-the-go.

Divert Attention To The Shoes

bootsWhen in doubt, or at least when facing an outfit roadblock, do the following: find a show stoppin’ shoe, comfortable pants or a breezy skirt with tights, and top it all off with your favorite sweater. It’s a high-low mix that involves the least amount of effort, shows off your new patterned slouch boots, AND makes you feel like you’re in an eternal hug. If you’re feeling an ounce of ambition, add statement earrings or a baker boy cap.

Wear Anything, Literally Anything, that is Monochromatic

ono

One of the most successful optical illusions is the allure of the monochromatic ensemble. The boldness of donning a singular tone outperforms other aspects of dress, allowing a wearer to experiment with forgiving shapes. If your go-to silhouette of the season is a potato sack with legs, you can confidently proceed as long as you’re in a consistent shade of periwinkle, or go for a power red that makes you appear daring rather than bloated.

 

 

From Tbilisi With Love: An Interview with Lela Eloshvili

From Tbilisi With Love

An Interview with Lela Eloshvili of ELOSHI

elosh

There’s a mystical place where hills roll, wine flows, and an alphabet that could pass as Elvish exists. It’s called Georgia, and alongside centuries of rich culture, it also boasts designer Lela Eloshvili.

I met with Eloshvili minutes after her LAFW debut and discussed her collection, ascent into LA Fashion Week, and the allure of the Georgian woman.

“It’s about Georgia, tradition, and how the Georgian woman wears Georgia. She’s self-confident and sexy. These outfits are a message from her.”

Georgian it most definitely was. While nodding to the country’s antiquity with costume buttons, puffed shoulders, and ruffles of romance, it also quite literally represented other facets of the culture. Vines of Georgian grapes, responsible for the sought-after old-world bottles swirled on cream-colored dresses while otherworldy symbols hung in empty spaces, luring in the untrained Western eye. The symbols were letters from the Georgian alphabet, evoking a mythical aesthetic to some and a pleasantly familiar, elementary feel to those fluent in the Kartvelian language.

lee

“Wine is very important in our culture; we love to entertain guests, and wherever you go you arrive with Georgian wine.”

The collection was a marriage of the simple pleasures that drive the Georgian culture. From wine to words, to the modernization of the chokha, Georgia’s national dress, the inspiration was loud on exquisite canvases. It spoke of beauty outside of apparel, of fashion as an extension of life. Needless to say, my mind wandered east where wine flowed and a way of life beckoned.

Despite a well-documented fashion week and the emittance of huge names such as Demna Gvasalia of Vetements and Balenciaga, Georgian-bred designers often bring to mind southern charm rather than eastern innovation. Eloshvili piqued both our sartorial and excursionist interests with a collection of elegant sensuality and fashion-forward diplomacy.

Cartwheeling into the room rather than slipping in, Eloshvili entered the conversation as a deserving sartorial ambassador. Her inspiration, an ode to her roots, was a bold statement rather than a touch of cultural nuance that’s easy on the eyes and easy to forget. It awakened a bright-eyed LA crowd, as montages of wine, rolling hills, and unfiltered beauty typically do.

 

elosh1

elosh 2elosh 3

elosh 4

elosh 5

elosh 6

elosh 9

Summer Shoes, Meet Fall

In this weird transition period known as August, we’re a bit directionless with our fashion seasonality. As we cling to summer, fall trends are in our peripherals begging to be adopted.

This becomes even more perplexing when it comes to shoes. It’s time to start nailing down those investment boots, statement sneakers, or business flats, but we also can’t fight the urge to flex our toes in some bright sandals.

It is during this time that a healthy balance of both suits the season. For summer shoes, keep in mind styling solutions for cold weather, or pick options that can be used for formal occasions.

For those fall styles, it’s hunting season.

So whether you’re still wearing your bathing suit as a top, or already prepping your layers, here are some season-bending shoes that will guide you seamlessly through the months.

Mules

Margaret-Zhang-Zara-Citizens-of-Humanity-Lanvin-Shine-By-Three-600x800

Pair your new mules with complimentary tights or socks. Think fishnets and leather, or patterns and tassels for a geek-chic combo. shinebythree.com

80’s Sling-Backs

always judging

Slingbacks are having a moment, and the chilly months are not stopping them. Once again, a sock or tight combo will do wonders, or break them out for a formal event. alwaysjudging.com

Toe-Flexing Sandals

eva

Asymmetry and toe-wiggling are officially in after Céline released its avant-garde Pirate sandals. These are too amazing to be utilized only three months a year, so let your toes fly free at your next formal event.

Statement Boots

810 (1)

Boots are made for talking this season, and they have a lot to say. Be sure to throw offensively loud patterns into the mix, as well as unapologetically clashing colors. via British Vogue

Off White Sneakers (with white pants)

dirty shoes white pants

In the spirit of breaking rules, wear white after Labor Day AND wear off-white or dirty sneakers with those forbidden slacks. After stumbling upon this shot from Always Judging, I fell in love with the combo. We all love monochrome, but shades of white are something else entirely.

Slouch Boots

slouch

Slouch boots paired with midi-skirts or cropped trousers will be all over the streets this fall. To truly stand out, find interesting color combos, patterns, or asymmetrical hemlines. @styleheroine

No More “Borrowing” From The Boys

Known as one of the most ignored global events of the year, Men’s Fashion Week has hit the ground running, and with it has brought a fleet of style inspiration. We’ve often heard the colloquial “borrowed from the boys” phrase, also known as pairing oxfords with literally anything, but this time around, I will be graciously jacking their entire ensembles.

The blurring of gender lines is no new concept in the fashion realm. We’ve borrowed nearly every item from the male closet, but still have trouble with the concept of unisex fashion. Their looks are inspired, culturally-driven, and artistic – nothing really gender exclusive there. As I looked upon these outfits with pure admiration and a little calf-envy, I realized it was time to show appreciation for some fashion-savvy men by obsessing over the following looks. 

Relaxed & Effortless

1620

Relaxed fashion is a privilege men have been granted for centuries. Throughout the course of evolution, the beautiful specimen above has evolved into an advanced creature of effortless style. These jewel-toned shorts, gracefully landing above the knee makes me want to forget everything I ever knew about wearing pants. That belt? Bury me in it.

Loud Shirts, Louder Ties

Screen Shot 2017-06-25 at 6.47.05 PM

It’s been a while since I’ve considered wearing a tie, and when I did, it was that simple black addition to a crisp white shirt that peaked my interest. After stumbling upon these statement tops with statement additions, I can say I’ve been converted. Especially in the present phase of maxed-out fashions, I think this may be the only look we have yet to conquer.

Chest Piece

Screen Shot 2017-06-25 at 8.50.23 PM

Not asking you to get a chest tattoo, but to simply draw inspiration from the décolletage of this striped beauty. Feeling adventurous? Pair an appliquéd mesh top under a crisp shirt for the same appearance. You can also go the classic route and find yourself some layered metal jewelry that accent the cut of the shirt. Or, you can get a chest tattoo.